Tailbone pain and endometriomas

chocolate cyst

Mmm                    source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/18217472@N00/2797793602/

I had my excision surgery in February 2017 and have only been experiencing pain during the first days of my period.  I suppose I’m using this blog as a symptom tracker, although I also have an app for that.

My calendar app

It takes effort to make a cat NOT cute.

I didn’t know what the tailbone pain meant before I was diagnosed and Dr. Google wasn’t terribly helpful.  It feels like pressure on your tailbone/bowels almost? when you sit down and the pressure makes you want to jump up.  I’ve been feeling localized tailbone pressure the past three days so I assume the cysts are growing, as is their wont.  The eventual result is pain which spreads in a band around the lower back.  Helpful pain reducers (from the doula book) are: heating pads, TENS unit, counter pressure, double hip squeezes.  Trent will perform massage in public if I’ve been standing/sitting too long.  Don’t mind us.

I told myself I would get back to certain activities after surgery recovery, but another life activity this ruins is tandem biking: constant tailbone pressure.  Good thing my idea of paradise is lying in bed with Trent and my pets, watching Twin Peaks or cross-stitching.  I was never an active person.




Mind your own womb

The great post linked below is why I say straight up, “nope, I’m infertile,” and take Lexapro.

But seriously, telling people about my infertility is quickly something I’ve become inoculated to due to being a birth doula and a natural oversharer (thus, the blog).  The week I found out I was infertile, I attended a Doula Share event with my pregnant best friend, expecting parents, toddlers, babies, and prepared myself to be in tears.  I only thought about the infertility once.  Then I had to attend a maternal mental health conference, which combined all my colleagues, perinatal mental health professionals, doulas, L&D nurses, all asking for updates on my work, or my health, if they knew me well.  I panicked and almost turned the car around from the networking happy hour.  But I went, and all these women were so supportive.  I could feel the empathy pouring out of one of my colleagues who is also a doula and psychotherapist.  She gave me the best big hug with tears in her eyes.  Don’t you make me cry!  I relayed the news and my uncertainty about my career over and over that conference weekend.  And then I prepared my elevator speech for the question all doula clients ask, “Do you have children?”

No, I have endometriosis, which has caused infertility, but I’d love the opportunity to try IVF someday.  I’m very open about my disease and the experience has made me even more passionate about informed healthcare choices for women.

Source: Mind your own womb

GF HelloFresh: May Week 4

Hello fresh soy steak

Tamari-marinated steak with peanut sauce and crispy broccoli

GF: sub tamari for soy sauce


I love HelloFresh.  They are not paying me.  I bow down to the service because I am a terrible cook, I’m picky with leftovers, grocery stores trigger anxiety, and thinking up a delicious, cost-effective menu takes all my spoons.  I won’t be reviewing meals here because I feel like I’m eating in a restaurant.  And I’m the chef!  (But I will say if there’s a dud).  Customer service has been speedy if there are any lost boxes or damaged ingredients.

Cooking is also a boost to my self-confidence because I am not currently an equal partner in my marriage, especially after my last surgery, when we decided to sign up.  If someone can deliver me ingredients and give me instructions, I can cook even on opiates safely.  When depressed people feel useful, it lightens the depression.

As for being Celiac, a surprising amount of their seven weekly choices (including breakfast) are GF.  If they are not, you can use tamari, corn tortillas, GF buns or pasta, and typically covers most meals.  Everything is packaged separately so no cross-contamination.  Trent is accumulating tiny portions of random grains in his gluten cabinet.  (That’s right, we have separate cabinets and refrigerator shelves).  Feel free to sponsor me at any time, HelloFresh!

Hellofresh grits

Gussied-up grits with bacon, spinach potato hash

Hellofresh sweet Italian

Sweet Italian sausages over cheesy kale polenta

Why aren’t there any blistered tomatoes in your dishes?  Because cooked tomatoes are DISGUSTING.  We got mozzarella to go with the excess tomatoes and basil.



My discount code: NIMBUS


Gluten-Free in Denver: Part Two

Acorn hamachi

hamachi crudo: passion fruit vinaigrette, avocado, cucumber, fresno chili, cilantro


The source

The Source, an office/retail/restaurant combined space in a warehouse. Local crew tags preserved on brick

When I saw Steve Redzikowski on the same list as Bryce Gilmore of Barley Swine/Odd Duck for James Beard Best Chef Southwest, I knew I had to visit Acorn.  Barley Swine/Odd Duck produces a gluten-free menu daily for their changing menu.  Odd Duck has changed the way I think about carrots and French toast (hate it usually).  While Acorn was delightful and yummy, I didn’t feel the need to fight Trent for the sauces and I wasn’t shocked by the use of any ingredients.


How big is this fan? The biggest?

Acorn cocktails

Despite an impressive cocktail list, Nil opts for the French 75, as usual

The server knew I was Celiac ahead of time and recited all the adjustments for the entire menu.  Impressive.  I always want bone marrow but she admitted the texture wouldn’t work without a bread receptacle.  I agree.  The timing of the dishes was a bit off and I felt rushed eating until I stopped.  Then the coursing slowed.

Acorn tartare

wagyu beef tartare: pickled ramp aioli, grana padano, fennel pollen, cucumbers

I really envied Trent’s toast for the texture differentiation.

Acorn pork belly

oak smoked pork belly: celery root, shaved fennel, citrus, cilantro

Acorn kung pai

blistered green & yellow wax beans: “kung pao”, toasted peanuts, mint, sesame

The beans were a bit bland but the kung pao sauce was amazing and collected on the peanuts.  I suggested they sell the nuts alone as a messy bar snack.

Acorn sausage

binner’s boudin blanc sausage: baby artichokes, shishito peppers, mustard cream

The sausage and crudo were my favorites.


chocolate custard cake: citrus marmalade, pecan praline, orange cream, salted caramel ice cream


Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox

Ophelias ele

Apologies for the photo lighting.  The environment was dark and sexy, as befits a former cabaret/bordello.  The bathroom stalls were composed of hundreds of rulers!  They have movie nights, where you can eat and watch, in this case, Blade Runner.

Ophelias plantaina

Fried plantains: cotija cheese, lime yogurt, cilantro pesto

I also ate most of this before I remembered to take a photo.  Most of the items can be made GF or vegan.  They also serve GF pita bread.

Ophelias pork belly

Crispy pork belly: wild rice porridge, black garlic, cherry chimichurri

Thanks for being easy to eat in, Denver!


Reminders for my friend who is getting a hysterectomy tomorrow


Send healing thoughts her way!  She is also in the capable hands of Dr. Garza.

  • Prepare your husband for you asking him to kill you to end your suffering.  He should not be alarmed.  He should remind you the first 48 hours are the worst, you will get through them, there are X hours left, yes, your life is terrible, I’m sorry.
  • Do not chase the pain.  Use the maximum amount of pain medication on time (set an alarm off you can sleep) until you stabilize.
  • You will not remember the first days to a week as more than a blur.  You will be excruciatingly present but those memories will fade.  Maybe your brain protecting you from pain.  Don’t watch serialized television and warn people you won’t remember them checking in on you.
  • The lap gas.  Take Gas-X, demand massages, and get your partner to take you for a little walk around the room to get the gas out.
  • Take stool softeners every day and then try a laxative on day 3.  Even if it doesn’t work, it will prepare your body for the trauma that will be your first post-surgery shit.
  • Golf-ball sized blood clots are normal.  Feel free to disturb the on-call nurse with any concerns.
  • You will survive and the pain will stop and you will obtain a better quality of life.

Netflix and Sick

Alexis neiers

Put this in the MOMA

My best friend is pregnant and wants Netflix recommendations for those long nights which blend into days.  As a sick, I’ve scoured Netflix for some deep cuts and this is what stuck.  You’ll notice the CW performs very well in Nil’s critical perspective.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

If you miss 30 Rock, there’s a show for that.

Adventure Time

Short, happiness-inducing, kid-friendly, you can jump into any episode although there is an overarching mythology.  Lemongrab is my favorite character.

Pretty Wild

One season, the stars aligned to film a reality show about a kooky family while the Bling Ring trial was occurring and two sisters were doing so many opiates and practicing The Secret.  Alexis Neiers is sober and a doula now.  Yup.


Addictive and gives great eye candy.  It’s been so long since the first season with so many characters and different relationships that I need a recap before going into season 2.

Master of None

Charming, LOL, and Aziz Ansari uses his actual parents as his parents.

The 100

The first 3 episodes I wished death upon all these idiotic teenagers sent to post-apocalypse earth and often my wish was granted due to said teenagers’ idiocy.  By season 2, I set down my coloring book and paid attention, unable to wait to ululate along to the theme song beginning each episode.  You can pick up “Color Me Calm” again in season 3.


From Rob Thomas, god-creator of Veronica Mars, this rewards close viewing due to a quickly-paced plot and pun after pun.  I’ve watched every episode twice, I would totally go to a Kurt Cobain retrospective with Blaine, this is the best show airing right now. Shady Plots, tee hee.


All I needed was season 1.  I’m good.  Also: Coach Taylor.

Person of Interest

The first half of season 1 is terrible so maybe it’s better to have a baby occupying your brain.  After, the plot becomes less case-of-the-week and more serialized until you find yourself weeping at an AI typing.  This series is why I have faith Westworld will become great.

The Magicians

Read the books.  There’s a talking sloth!  But then be surprised that the series lives up to “Harry Potter with cursing and sex”.

30 Rock

Like all other women, I am Tina Fey.

Black Mirror

Do not binge unless you want to feel horrible about other humans, the future, life.  I re-watch San Junipero and Fifteen Million Merits with anyone who is willing.

Les Revenants/The Returned

You will be reading subtitles.  The first season was so intriguing with the Mogwai soundtrack and then I waited four? years and couldn’t get into the second season.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

It took me a few episodes to get into but if you like musical television, give it a whirl.  All the music videos are available on YouTube so watch “Feeling Kinda Naughty” for a test run.

Twin Peaks

I was Log Lady one Halloween.  Catch up before the redux.

Lost Girl

This is a silly concept on paper (succubus fights supernatural crime) but ever so charming in execution until the end, where it begins to drag.  The characters, especially Kenzi, are hilarious and play off one another well.

Doctor Who

You’ll always love your first Doctor.  I refused this ridiculous and magnificent show for years until someone asked me to watch “Blink”.  After that, I started with David Tennant and never regretted it.

Friday Night Lights

High school football soundtracked to And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead.  I’m tearing up thinking about the beauty of it all.  Except for the season 2 murder cover-up.


Someday, I will watch this all again.  Not yet though.  I spent too much time lurking on fan forums.

Planet Earth

Smoke some medicinal marijuana and gaze in awe at the diversity of our planet.


I watched through Season 4 and then gave up, but found it quite breezy and enjoyable prior.

The Vampire Diaries

Again, a silly concept.  Teenage vampire love triangle?  The first 3 seasons are riveting and do some innovative plot twists.  After that, it’s up to you whether to continue or only watch scenes featuring Klaus.


You’ll want to keep watching after the perfection of Season 1.  Don’t.

Every Joss Whedon project ever: Dollhouse (my favorite despite a slow start), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (upon re-watch, I thought to myself: god I was cool to watch this as a teenager and Spike is really hot now), Firefly (try not to do a jig to the theme), Cabin in the Woods (a movie you should watch without knowing anything about the plot)

Except Angel.  Use a binge watching guide for Angel like I did and skip entire seasons.


Gluten-Free in Denver

True Foods Denver

True food kitchen

Steak tacos


WaterCourse Foods

Be warned, this is a vegan restaurant.  It serves breakfast all day!  Trent found the seitan to be delicious.  I was ravenous from a walk so I was disgruntled that the food took 45 minutes.  “We have a small kitchen,” the server apologized when the food was delivered into my greedy hands.

Watercourse waffle

Waffle with butter, powdered sugar, maple syrup

Water course sweet potato

Sweet potato cooked in a pan, not the fryer



Panzano bread

I got my own bread and tapenade.

I found this through an Eater Denver guide so I didn’t realize how fancy it was.  It’s off the lobby of a boutique hotel downtown.

La nonita

La Nonita, perhaps representing my tiny grandmother next to me

Panzano brussel

Cavolini di Bruxelles Not fried​ brussel sprouts, apple cider reduction, pistachios, rosemary salt, sliced green apple

Asparagus budino

Budino di Asparagi: Asparagus​ custard, parmigiano reggiano fonduta, asparagus salad, dried black olive

My favorite dish in Denver.  I never knew asparagus could be a light, savory dessert but an appetizer.  Then I needed to order small because I ate that huge-ass waffle so late.

Red wine risotto

Risotto di Montepulciano: red wine reduction


Budino di Caramello: Butterscotch pudding, salted caramel, whipped sour cream, rosemary pine nut cookie

The server gave this compliments of the house since everyone else ate a chocolate cake.  I’m not usually a fan of butterscotch but this was like the creamiest Werther’s.  My grandma ate the cookie.  Excellent service.

To be continued…

Gluten-Free in Boulder

Boulder Creek Path

Turkey, bacon jam, avocado aioli sandwich on Boulder Creek Path

Organic Sandwich Company

Organic Sandwich Company

We got food to-go for a walk.  No bathroom emergencies!

Lovin oven

Chocolate chip, sea salt, walnut cookie from Lovin’ Oven


Shine Restaurant & Gathering Place

Shine restaurant

100% gluten-free kitchen!  Excuse the quality of the photos due to restaurant lighting.


Potion flight of Fairy Bubbles, Owl Eyes, Three Laughing Monks

Trent said he felt “elated and somewhat cosmic-ironical” from the house-made potions.  If you like kombucha, and I do not, you would enjoy.

Shine biscuit

Buttermilk biscuit and yam butter

My favorite dish of the evening.

Salmon cakes

Wild salmon and goat cheese cakes with cilantro lime aioli

Trent enjoyed the breading.  I could have used more goat cheese.  Trent tried the Ahimsa GF ale, which was an amber on the sweet side.  I took a sip and as a former beer enthusiast, I do not miss it.

Doughnut eyes

Doughnut eyes with apple jam

I was fantasizing about GF donut holes, which are a far technological advance, I suppose.  I even asked the server, who raved about them.  They were a biscuit redux covered with cinnamon and sugar.  We took two to-go and it’s three days later.  Giving them up to Trent, whose dessert won that night.

Shine cheesecake

Lime raw cheesecake with almond date coconut crust


Yellowbelly Chicken


Fried mixed chicken with mustard aioli

In my top two #GF fried chicken I’ve tried.  Rivals gluten fried chicken.  The thigh was especially juicy, the texture crispy, and the spice mix was potent.  The cashier said they’ve talked about expanding to Austin and someone took the concept for themselves.  (Ehem, Mighty Bird.  If so, it’s a pale imitation.)




Trent’s experience was marred by a bee who was trying to escape through a window.  He enjoyed the Bloody Mary before the bee made an appearance.

Zeal bloody Mary

Bloody Mary with jalapeno-infused vodka


Can there be too much bacon in your fried rice?  It was extremely flavorful.

Zeal cheesecake

Raw cheesecake with balsamic reduction and macerated berries

Thank you, Boulder, for making it easy to dine well and pick up snacks.

Gluten-Free in Memphis


Chicken flautas. It’s been so long since I’ve had a flauta.

Really, this is gluten-free surrounding areas of Memphis.  It was tough the more rural we stayed but the Find Me Gluten-Free app saved me.

Las Tortugas Deli Mexicana

We came here on three separate occasions in two days if that speaks to the food.  The owner, Pepe, is from Mexico City and his son took our orders and told the story of how his father wanted to open an authentic Mexican taqueria after retirement and the children thought he was crazy.


La resistencía is alive in the south.

The son called back in Spanish to the kitchen that the meal was for a Celiac.  “It’s important that the preparation and cooking areas be gluten-free, as well as the food”.  I agree, sir!  Their chips and tortillas are all corn so the fryer doesn’t touch flour.


Tacos al pastor


Crazy Italians


Spaghetti alla carbonara

This place is not Italian-American, thank god.  Their menu items are in Italian and they can do any pasta in a gluten-free version.  I could not tell the difference.  The carbonara was decadent.  It was approved by Trent’s grandmother, who pronounced the authentic Mexican chips made by Las Tortugas to be tasteless.

AC’s Steakhouse

No photos from here as I got a basic and delicious cheeseburger.  The restaurant had a gluten-friendly menu.  Some items are prepared in a contaminated fryer so no fries with that burger.  I thought for a moment I may get to indulge in potato skins, but no.

My nightmare plane scenario come to life


I should have visualized my future in Boulder while freaking the fuck out.

I started to experience urinary urgency during the day at Trent’s family’s home.  Cysts press on my bladder, causing me to urinate more frequently than most, I wake up several times during the night, but I can usually deal with it.  The urgency began to come every hour to thirty minutes until the night, where I was at ten minutes.  Thankfully, someone gave me Azo and as I writhed in pain, heating pad pressed to my full stomach, I started perseverating about our upcoming flight to Denver.  The United ejection story went through the news cycle recently and I pictured myself caught on the jetway for hours, not allowed to go to the restroom.

The next day Inside Edition had a nurse with a bladder condition who was not allowed to leave her seat during turbulence and given a cup.  That’s going to be me!  Peeing in front of strangers and someone will film it and I’ll be a Daily Mail headline.

I spoke to a nurse at Dr. Garza’s office who couldn’t prescribe anything over the phone, but mentioned bladder training.  It is healthy to hold in your urine as long as you can because the bladder is lazy.  If you’re me.  The nurse asked several times if I was certain I didn’t have a UTI.  …flashbacks of being mistakenly prescribed antibiotics 3 months in a row when I had cysts…

I used the restroom directly before we boarded the plane and tried to drink as little water as possible.  Then the captain announced we would be flying 200 miles out of our way due to rough weather but that turbulence would still effect the airplane so the fasten seatbelt sign would be on a bit longer than usual.  Drink service would start as soon as possible.  Oh god, I thought.  It’s happening.  About twenty minutes in, I began to feel the urge.  Two hours in, a daughter rang the call bell to help her elderly mother with an oxygen tank to the bathroom.  I can’t do that.  I look young and healthy.  There hasn’t been much turbulence, surely the seatbelt sign will turn off soon, as the captain keeps promising.

Two and a half hours.  I no longer could concentrate on the Harlen Coben novel.  I started rhythmically rocking my body.  (This can be helpful during labor contractions).  I told Trent to push the call button.  “Unless this is a medical emergency, please do not press the call button as our flight attendants cannot leave their seats due to safety reasons,” the captain chided on the announcer.  Shit!  I instantly started sobbing and panicking.  I don’t know what the college kid from Tuscaloosa going turkey hunting, who was sitting next to us, thought.  I wasn’t going to urinate on the seat, I was simply in pain, so I didn’t think this constituted an emergency.  This is temporary, you have been through worse pain than this, you will get through this, I thought to myself as tears flowed down my face.  Have I mentioned airplanes/unknown public places already cause anxiety because I fear I will be trapped in a space and something will physically happen to my body that I can’t control and I won’t be able to escape and it will be terribly embarrassing?  Well.

Three hours.  The weeping continued.  The captain announced drink service would begin.  I hit the call button and waved maniacally to the flight attendant.  “I have a bladder condition,” I began.  “Oh, go, go!” she said.

She later told me flight attendants can’t give permission for you to leave your seat, but they are not enforcers.  So if you need to use the restroom, just go.  Take note, United Airlines cup urinal service.